If you are a merchant seaman or commercial fisherman, you may have heard of the phrase maintenance and cure in relation to work injuries. Maintenance and cure are special benefits that injured maritime workers can receive from an employer during their recovery process. Regardless of proving liability for your injuries, you as an injured seaman are eligible for maintenance and cure benefits from your Employer.
What Counts as an Injury Under Maintenance and Cure?
The word “maintenance” in this context refers to the room and board of the injured maritime employee while he or she is recovering from the injury at home. Maintenance would include certain expenses such as: rent or mortgage, utilities, telephone and food. It excludes any other regular payments such as cable, Internet or car payments. This is because maintenance only includes the necessary payments for maintaining your home, and nothing else. Cure is the payment any reasonable and necessary medical expenses for the care and treatment of the injured seaman, along with any transportation costs needed to get to and from medical treatment and costs for any medical equipment needed and prescriptions.
Maintenance and cure can also apply to any illnesses that you acquire as a seaman. You are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits for any injuries or illnesses until you reach a point of maximum medical improvement, also known as MMI. Reaching MMI means that no further treatment is going to improve your condition and make you better.
You are entitled to your maintenance and cure benefits, but if your employer refuses to pay for it as it comes due you can file for a lawsuit. Contact the maritime law attorneys today at Latti & Anderson LLP to get a qualified maritime trial lawyer to fight for your rights.